Defining Data Catalogs and Their Benefits
A lot of organizations claim to be data-centered, but unless they have a data catalog, that may not be automatically true. But what is a data catalog exactly, and why is it important? A data catalog is a way of arranging data such that it can be searched, accessed and reused more efficiently. It allows organizations to use data sources, and also for users to add information to the data catalog.
So what in particular is the value of data catalogs to organizations?
Without a doubt, quick information search is one of the most appreciated abilities of a data catalog. For instance, medical researchers can simply ask questions regarding a certain disease and get the information handily. Moreover, a data catalog is also equipped with a natural language processor for search, increasing the process’ efficiency all the more.
As you may know, balancing data security with accessibility has always been a constant need of IT environments. A data catalog makes this task a whole lot easier.
The third benefit of using a data catalog can be described by the word alone: interoperability. This means the need for siloed databases is instantly eradicated. A data catalog helps promote collaboration and efficient and effective data sharing.
Therefore, organizations must keep their challenges in mind when faced with the need to source data. They may, for example, be at a loss as to where the needed information can be found or how they can get to it. Uncovering existing data is most people’s jobs, meaning, they may not be doing enough analytics.
It’s not easy to balance keep a healthy balance between stringent data control and compliance regulations, something most organizations are conscious of yet still have a difficult time doing. There are usually two potential scenarios involving data: either few people in the organization can access information, or everybody does. Even if accessibility is not an issue, compliance and control will always be. In most cases, data catalogs are weaved into an organization’s existing security infrastructure to simplify accessibility and control.
Laws and regulations related to data are poised to keep evolving as well as growing in number, and experts recommend organizations employ proper measures for keeping pace. In short, they have to be smart and proactive when dealing with compliance issues.
Lastly, you can increase the effectiveness of your data catalogs by following the right process. This primarily includes setting objectives, creating a technical and business metadata blueprint, keeping catalog in check, setting the acceptable level of data asset access and providing adequate metadata, and making metadata produced by the data cataloging product accessible as well as allowing the integration of such with other fitting products.